STORIES OF HOPE - 'In their own words': Success Story - VELANGANNI:

My name is A. Velanganni. I am a 20 year old young man, who came to the Awake Home 7 years ago from a small village called Kallathupatti. I have both parents and two sisters, one older and one younger. My mother is a housemaid and introduced me to Elsie and Krishna, showing her support for me to join the home and improve my life chances. My own father had no interest in sending us to school and Elsie helped look after my mother and my sisters.

I was at Awake home from my 9th standard to the end of my Polytechnic course. I was able to score 406 marks in my 10th Standard Public exams. After completing 12th standard, I joined the 'Tool and Die' diploma course and successfully completed it a year ago. Now, I am working in a company in Chennai, named Renault- Nibbon Automative India Private Limited, which is a car manufacturing company.

I was very fortunate to spend the 7 years from 2007-2014 at the Awake Home. I have learnt a lot from my time there and feel that all those times and experiences were like seeds for the rest of my future life.

When I joined the home, I was always afraid and anxious without any reason, because of my own family's strength. Now, I am a courageous man, able to tolerate all my problems much better. I am currently working and staying in Chennai through my own efforts. I come and visit Awake Home whenever I come to my native village, so that I can spend more time with the children. They are also very affectionate towards me. I see the children as my family members, so I try to help them in what I am able to.

My personal dream now is to start a small scale industry in due course, where I would like to give opportunities to our own children who are interested in industrial training, to work in it, with the guidance of our Krishna and Elsie. I would like to strengthen my thinking in this area.

Thank you, A. Velanganni